Responsibilities and Dispensations: Behavior, Science, & American Justice

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9780970512888: Responsibilities and Dispensations: Behavior, Science, & American Justice
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Behavioral forensics has shaped legislative and public perceptions of individual responsibility as tried in the American legal system. The author traces its role in cases relating to such weighty issues as the insanity defense, due process, competency, juvenile justice, confidentiality, the right to treatment/to refuse treatment, expert testimony, and the limits of advocacy. Includes a briefly annotated "behavioral forensics bookshelf." An auxiliary Web site is available. Edwards is an attorney and forensic psychologist whose vita includes Tufts U. School of Medicine. His present venue is unspecified. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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From the Publisher:

Law, behavior, and science have traditionally been viewed as competing forces; reflecting different orientations and perspectives. In this book, Carl Edwards draws upon the case method that unites each of these disciplines to create an insightful and engaging look at the evolving forces that have brought us to a turning point in public policy. America, unique in its commitment to a legal foundation which looks not only to human actions but their motivation and intent, reflects the philosophies and judgments of individuals rare in their insights into human differences and dynamics. American legal history, therefore, is a story of behind-the-scenes compromise and balance; of continuing struggle and practical expedience that Edwards brings alive to show that beneath its formality and search for uniformity, law not only reflects but also is a behavioral science.

An attorney, forensic psychologist, and policy analyst; Edwards’ career amid the turbulent legal, scientific, and human forces that have shaped American society makes him uniquely qualified to produce this timely synthesis. Through stories grounded in basic human terms, his narrative assumes no prior familiarity with law, science, or behavioral dynamics; yet systematically assembles the building blocks of each discipline while illustrating their historical evolution and current status as essential elements in a matrix which will touch every aspect of modern life. Whether preparing for boards in forensic psychiatry or a casual reader concerned with contemporary social issues, you will find this book essential, enjoyable, and memorable.

About the Author:

Carl N. Edwards, J.D., Ph.D., began his academic career at Harvard University during the final decade of its multidisciplinary Department of Social Relations. A clinician, attorney, forensic scientist, and policy analyst; he is experienced in and has published extensively on the design, implementation, management and evaluation of medical, mental health, and criminal justice programs. Among his appointments, he has served as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Tufts University School of Medicine, Senior Associate for Policy, Planning and Research at the Justice Resource Institute, and Chair of the international scientific corporation which developed the first computer-based expert system for medical diagnosis to be adopted by practicing clinicians. He teaches science, law, and human dynamics.

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